Background: Certain therapeutic drugs used in medical practice may trigger mitochondrial toxicity leading to a wide range of clinical symptoms including deafness, neuropathy, myopathy, hyperlactatemia, lactic acidosis, pancreatitis and lipodystrophy, among others, which could even compromise the life of the patient.
Objectives: The aim of this work is to review the potential mitochondrial toxicity derived from drugs used in health care, including anesthetics, antiepileptics, neuroleptics, antidepressants, antivirals, antibiotics, antifungals, antimalarics, antineoplastics, antidiabetics, hypolipemiants, antiarrhythmics, anti-inflammatories and nitric oxide.
Methods: We herein have reviewed data from experimental and clinical studies to document the molecular mitochondrial basis, potential biomarkers and putative clinical symptoms associated to secondary effects of drugs.
Results: One hundred and forty-five articles were selected and the information was organized by means of the primary target to which pharmacologic drugs were directed. Adverse toxic events were classified depending on the mitochondrial offtarget effect and whether they had been demonstrated in the experimental or clinical setting. Conclusions: Since treatment of acquired mitochondriopathies remains supportive and therapeutic interventions cannot be avoided, information of molecular and clinical consequences of toxic exposure becomes fundamental to assess riskbenefit imbalance of treatment prescription. Additionally, there is a crucial need to develop less mitochondrial toxic compounds, novel biomarkers to follow up mitochondrial toxicity (or implement those already proposed) and new approaches to prevent or revert unintended mitochondrial damage.
Keywords: Adverse effects, medication, mitochondria, mitotoxicity, secondary mitochondriopathies, toxicity.